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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My little secret is the oasis to the south east of the lake where we have set up pottery washing and analysis this summer. I am stealing this idea from Mary Fazzini who used this spot in the winter for the Brooklyn Museum expedition’s pottery work, and it has been great for us. It allows me to look at the pottery coming out of each level more quickly and to decide early about drawing as well. Not to mention I get the coolest place on the site!

Analysing pottery in the shade.








Betsy analysing pottery.

Ashley recording data in her notebook.

Close view of Ashley's notebook.


Ashley and the other graduate students have learned quickly how important it is to keep the notebook current. She duly records finds and rechecks the labeling. Then she makes a sketch for the book.

Will drawing blocks.      Keli drawing blocks.

Keli and Will continue to draw blocks in the display area behind the temple. Keli is preparing a new drawing by placing the acetate against the blocks. Since often the drawings are not completed at the end of a day, they carefully measure where the sheet touches and place crosses on the sheets that line up with the temporary “blutac” on the blocks that holds the acetate. The blutac is used on uncarved surfaces and does not remove grains from the stone.

No, it’s not really Violaine giving a political speech. Today a group of undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Liverpool where Violaine teaches Egyptology is paying us a visit, and she is giving them a tour of the temple. They finish their rounds at the lake excavation site.

Violaine giving students a tour.
Students get a tour.

More guests arrive on site.

As they depart more guests arrive. Dr. Gerry Scott, the Director of the American Research Center in Egypt and Dr. Shari Saunders, Assistant Director, have arrived from Cairo. ARCE is collaborating with us on the lake excavation project, and they are arranging the drainage that will make possible digging in the midst of the lake itself. They are seeing the trench that Shaina is supervising at present, Trench A, where we hit water earlier today and have had to stop working on the far west side. In the last picture you see Shaina and Ashley recording in the trench, where the stone now marches entirely across, north to south. This photograph was taken only a half hour before the water appeared in the trench, exactly at the point represented by the lower left of this picture.

Water in Trench A.
Shaina and Ashley in Trench A.
Trench A.

Trench B.

In Trench B the baked brick structure continues to expand but shows many indications of having collapsed, perhaps by the influence of intermittent water interference. To the west, however, we have visible in the baulk several layers of mud bricks, then layers of baked brick and then stone. Despite the lack of stratigraphy, i.e., our pottery is in every layer in every trench Very Late Period, primarily Dynasty 30 to late Ptolemaic (340 to 50 B.C.), the architecture suggests several phases of “shoring up” of a brick feature that edged the lake. We continue to work to understand them.

Brick work in Trench B.


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